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Keeping the herds healthy and alert: Implications of predator control for infectious disease

Ecology Letters

By:
, , , , and
DOI:10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00500.x

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Abstract

Predator control programmes are generally implemented in an attempt to increase prey population sizes. However, predator removal could prove harmful to prey populations that are regulated primarily by parasitic infections rather than by predation. We develop models for microparasitic and macroparasitic infection that specify the conditions where predator removal will (a) increase the incidence of parasitic infection, (b) reduce the number of healthy individuals in the prey population and (c) decrease the overall size of the prey population. In general, predator removal is more likely to be harmful when the parasite is highly virulent, macroparasites are highly aggregated in their prey, hosts are long-lived and the predators select infected prey.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Keeping the herds healthy and alert: Implications of predator control for infectious disease
Series title:
Ecology Letters
DOI:
10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00500.x
Volume:
6
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Western Ecological Research Center
Description:
6 p.
First page:
797
Last page:
802